A few months ago, Dave Chesson, creator of Kindlepreneur.com, received an email from Galaxy Press. Galaxy Press is the publishing company of famed sci-fi author L. Ron Hubbard, and the email asked for Dave’s help in writing a new book description for one of Hubbard’s most famous books, Battlefield Earth.
A step-by-step approach to writing a strong book description
Feeling honored, Dave approached the task methodically. First, he returned to basics and reviewed some trusted books and articles about what makes a good book description. Next, he scoured the web for book reviews, including professional blogs, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, and iTunes. “The best strategy for writing a description that makes people buy is not only knowing the book, but also finding out what people say was their favorite part of the book, and expanding on that,” he writes. … Continue reading
Self-publishing is a learn-as-you-go process. Authors must constantly adapt and try new tactics in order to get their books in front of the right audience. We asked experienced authors if there was a single thing they did that helped boost sales. Here’s their helpful advice. … Continue reading
Pamela Wilson is the Executive Vice President of Educational Content at Rainmaker Digital, the company behind the popular content marketing website Copyblogger. She co-hosts a biweekly podcast called ZeroToBook with bestselling author Jeff Goins. The show follows Pamela’s progress in self-publishing from start to finish.
In June, Pamela was anxious to give her work a name so that she could start sharing it with people. During an episode of the podcast, she and Jeff discussed the importance of a book’s title and Jeff explained a methodical process for ideating titles and getting unbiased feedback from potential customers.
At the heart of his process – PickFu. … Continue reading
Recently, a new customer signed up for PickFu and told us he’d discovered our service in a book. That book was Launch Tomorrow: The Non-Designer’s Guide to Using a Landing Page to Launch a Lean Startup, by Luke Szyrmer.
In it, Szyrmer outlines a method for defining an audience, validating an idea, and quickly taking that idea to market. PickFu is featured as a means of rapid market testing “in order to figure out which concepts grab attention, tickle tastebuds, and leave people wanting more.”
“The implications of PickFu,” he writes, “are enormous… If you can find out how people react to a certain color or shape or logo or byline, you have a much better chance of choosing something attractive.” … Continue reading
Steve Chou runs an online store called Bumblebee Linens. As an e-commerce site owner, he knows that an appealing photo can make the difference between losing a customer and making a sale. In fact, a simple photo swap helped Steve improve sales on a listing by 209%.
In order to test photos, Steve ran split tests on his website, whereby he published a listing, waited several days, swapped out the images for new ones, waited again, and then compared the results. The problem with split testing, however, “is that it takes forever. Every test that I run usually takes at least 3 weeks or more,” he wrote in a blog post. “And I’d say that 9 times out of 10, my tests are inconclusive.”
Besides the time required, a conversion pixel or some kind of tracking mechanism was needed, adding complexity and hassle to the tests, especially when selling on sites like Amazon, eBay, or Etsy. “Not only is this a major pain in the butt if you have multiple listings,” he said, “but if you’re lazy like me, you’re never going to do it.”
So when Steve heard about PickFu, “I thought I’d give it a try just for fun.” He took a listing from his store and tested his current featured photo against a new photo. … Continue reading
Mike Fishbein has self-published twelve books. “I used to think that I could just write a great book and publish it and then the sales would roll in,” he wrote in a blog post. “I was wrong.”
Mike’s most recent book, Your First Bestseller: How to Self-Publish a Successful Book on Amazon, became the top-seller in Direct Marketing.
So what changed? … Continue reading
Michael Cowden faced a dilemma. He and his team had been working for months on a mobile game called Outrun the 80s. Then a friend in marketing suggested a different name — Super 80s World.
Not bad, Mike thought. But is it better than Outrun the 80s?
He asked his friends. He asked his family. But, as he later told us, “the problem with this method is that they aren’t necessarily the target audience or the most likely to be honest with you.” … Continue reading
99designs is a great site for startups and small businesses – for just a few hundred dollars, you can launch a design contest for a logo, WordPress template, PowerPoint deck, signage, and more. Graphic designers around the world compete to win, you provide feedback, and after seven days, you pick a winner.
Here at PickFu, we crowdsourced our own logo using 99designs. Once the contest began, however, something became clear: even though receiving over 350 designs was valuable from a cost perspective, choosing a winner among them all was beyond overwhelming.
“We’re programmers, not designers,” said Justin Chen, PickFu co-founder. “Other than my own visceral reaction, it was hard to judge the value of all the colors, typefaces, and icons.” … Continue reading
A short while ago, I wrote about Twitter’s new polling feature. I was excited when the feature was rolled out to me so I could try it myself.
Now, I’m not the world’s biggest Twitter user. I’m certainly no celebrity. But I’ve been active on Twitter for over five years and at the time of this writing, I have 423 followers. (Want to boost my ego and add to the total? Follow me @kimkohatsu!) My 400+ users are comprised of professional contacts, brands I’ve mentioned or contacted via Twitter, and some friends and family. According to a 2012 study (the latest I could find), the average Twitter user has 208 followers. I’ve got over twice as many — not bad, right? … Continue reading
“What the hell’s wrong with my cover?”
Temple Williams reacted as most of us would at the suggestion he test the cover of his self-published book Warrior Patient.
But Williams, who has worked at several ad agencies and Reader’s Digest, knows that polling is powerful. “I hate it when [polls] tell me I’m wrong,” he wrote to us. “But it’s even worse to get the project wrong because of the power of self-deception.” … Continue reading